BISMARCK, ND — Steve and Eileen Scheel of Moorhead, MN, have made an impactful contribution that will go towards the naming of the University of Mary’s new restaurant inside the soon to be open Lumen Vitae University Center. This landmark gift is part of what has already become a record-setting Vision 2030 Capital Campaign at the University of Mary in Bismarck.

Steve and Eileen have carried on the leadership, entrepreneurial spirit and vision that started as a Sabin, MN, hardware store in 1902 and has today become one of the largest sporting goods retailers in America. Steve and Eileen continue the family tradition of being stewards and lifelong givers to community and causes that help better peoples’ lives.

“Eileen and I are not only strong supporters of faith-based, Christian higher education, but we believe wholeheartedly in what the University of Mary has become for North Dakota and what it continues doing to foster a values-based learning atmosphere for all its students and graduates,” said Steve D. Scheel. “We’ve had our eye on the University of Mary from afar for several years now. We are so impressed with its growth and how respected it has become nationally for its affordable, comprehensive, liberal arts education with strong Christian values. We’re confident and excited that this gift will help current students and future generations of students fulfill their academic dreams.”

That instinctive hunch, that fervent belief in noble purpose, that trendsetting mindset, and that passion to see an idea through to completion are all characteristics of the family philosophy that have helped make SCHEELS so innovative and successful throughout the years.

Headquartered in Fargo, ND, SCHEELS operates 26 stores in 11 states, including North Dakota, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, Montana, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Nevada, Utah and Kansas. Today, Steve D. Scheel, the great grandson of SCHEELS’ founder, is the company’s chairman of the board, and great-great grandson Steve M. Scheel is CEO. The company has over 6,000 employees, and its Sparks, NV, location is home to the world’s largest all-sports store (295,000 square feet, with several special attractions). Sports Illustrated Kids voted SCHEELS Best Sporting Goods Store, AOL-Travel voted its Omaha location to its Top 10 Ferris Wheels in America list, and the company is the number one TREK dealer. Remarkably, SCHEELS empowers its associates as an employee-owned company, allowing for first-class customer service while offering the world’s largest selection of sports, sportswear and footwear.

“Steve Scheel has deeply impacted the students of our business school with his message about how to transition from a culture of managing people to a culture of leading people,” said University of Mary President Monsignor James Shea. “The great personal generosity of Steve and Eileen, joined to the impressive commitment to employees and customer service throughout SCHEELS strikes a common chord with the servant leadership mission of the University of Mary set forth by the university’s founders, the Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery. People, and serving others, come first to Steve and Eileen. We are so grateful for this wonderful gift because we sense that it represents their belief and trust in us that we will remain true to our Christian vocation of service, hospitality and respect for persons that is so dear to them.”

The University of Mary remains one of only a few campuses in the nation offering full dining services for students and guests 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Students, faculty, administrators and visitors to the 24/7 campus restaurant inside the new Lumen Vitae University Center will see the iconic red SCHEELS name prominently displayed.

The SCHEELS gift pushes the three-phased $272 million Vision 2030 Capital Campaign total over the $70-million threshold, and this is the single largest fundraising mark ever achieved in a campaign at the University of Mary. That number will continue to climb as it reaches its Phase 1 target of $96 million, with future capital earmarked for endowment scholarships, the innovative new Year-Round Campus initiative and the new School of Engineering infrastructure—already a very popular program on campus that has taken off in only its first year of existence, thanks to the field’s high-demand and high wages in western North Dakota and across the country.

In just a year and a half, Phase 1 of the campaign has already seen the completion of a new 276-bed residence hall for women, named Roers Hall, and an 80,000-square- foot Fieldhouse and Wellness Center.

The media is invited to the grand opening celebration featuring a ribbon cutting, speakers and tours of the new facilities Friday, September 8, at 4:30 p.m. on the north side of the Lumen Vitae University Center.

The public is encouraged to attend an open house the following day on Saturday, September 9, 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. to see and tour the new Lumen Vitae University Center, the Marian Grotto and the Gift Hill Memorial. Bring your appetite, as free food will be served.